How-To: Disable The Overlay Scrollbars In Ubuntu 11.04

Ever since they arrived in the test versions of 11.04, I've hated the new Overlay Scrollbars in Ubuntu.

  • Yes, it may save on-screen real-estate BUT
  • I've now got a much smaller target to hit just to get the overlay control to appear
  • I have to move the pointer most times to get the pointer into the sweet spot to drag
  • If I miss that then it disappears and I've got to mouse about to get it to appear again.
  • I can only hot-spot on the coloured portion of the scrollbar, whereas before I could click anywhere on the traditional wide scrollbar and start paging up and down
  • In theory a brilliant space saver. In practice an insane idea that drives me crazy AND drives a coach and horses through common-sense accessibility!
So I'm starting a campaign now to get the regular scrollbars back!

Starting now with my own desktop [With thanks to the Webupd8's site 'quick tip']

Here's how to disable the overlay scrollbars in Ubuntu 11.04. Simply open a terminal and copy/paste the following commands:

sudo su
echo "export LIBOVERLAY_SCROLLBAR=0" > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80overlayscrollbars

Then restart your x-server (a re-boot will do the trick).

If this solution doesn't work, you can alternatively remove the overlay scrollbars packages which will eradicate all trace of them (so any other users of your machine will lose them permanently too):

sudo apt-get remove overlay-scrollbar liboverlay-scrollbar-0.1-0